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Aston Martin debuts V12 Vantage GT3 race car

With a 600 horsepower V12 saddled to just 2800 pounds of Aston, maybe this should be 007's first choice.

Aston Martin introduced the 2012 V12 Vantage GT3 race car today, giving fickle racing teams tired of quotidian 911s and plebeian Corvettes the option of selecting a car with a touch of British style.

The traditional Aston elegance of the road-going V12 Vantage has been supplanted by a more aggressive look thanks to a jutting front splitter, a hood filled with menacing cooling ducts and a truly gargantuan rear spoiler.

The Vantage GT3 features a modified version of the 5.9-liter V12 engine found throughout Aston's model range. The dry-sump engine is expected to produce 600 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, while its position has been optimized to improve weight balance. A carbon fiber driveshaft connects the engine to an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission actuated by paddle shifters. With weight reduced to about 2800 pounds through stripping down the interior and other weight-saving measures, the Vantage GT3 figures to be blindingly quick.

Lucky buyers will find that their Vantage GT3 is eligible for numerous race series around the world including the FIA GT3 Championship, ADAC Masters, Nürburgring VLN, Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT, Belcar and Open GT among others.

Pricing for the Vantage GT3 will start at $490,000.